City of Brentwood

Barb was hired by the City of Brentwood to provide emergency public relations services in order to achieve immediate community-wide behavior change in the face of steep state-imposed fines for water over-use.


Frameworks Brought about abrupt adjustments to everyday patterns, reducing citywide water consumption by nearly 35% in just three months.

SERVICES PROVIDED Public Relations, Outreach, Public Participation, Media, Materials Development, Event and Promotional Planning

Date April to October 2015

project description

Several years into a severe drought the State of California announced new fines of up to $10,000 a day for any municipality that was over-using water. When City of Brentwood was identified as one of the highest per capita water consumers in the state, its leaders promptly jumped into action to remedy the situation. With its very warm inland location and booming population, plus many homes with large, grassy yards or swimming pools, the challenge was real. Immediate action was required to avoid fines (and public shaming by the statewide media). The orders came in April and the campaign needed to be launched by May to effect change during the hottest months when water demand was highest. Local officials were committed and provided ample resources to tackle the problem.

Barb helped Brentwood create a city-wide campaign to bring public awareness to the issue, and provide tangible actions people could take to reduce water use both immediately and permanently. Barb helped craft several city-wide mailers, billboards, banners, ads and handouts, and helped design a website to provide detailed information on the City’s eight different rebate programs.